I went to Colombia with mixed feelings. Everybody is like embarrassed that you want to visit “such a country” warning you better not to go because it´s supposed to be so dangerous. All the people think of the history that hit Colombia in the past: drugs, cartels and guerrillas.
Well according to my cycling experience here I have to say they all were wrong. I had a wonderful time cycling this beautiful country. I went through all kind of weathers and terrain; cold, heat, rain, fog, mountains, hard climbs, fast downhills, brandnew pavement and dirt roads. There were difficult stretches that made me suffer, too like going up to Cerro Picacho. Extremly steep and I needed alomost 4hours for the 12km to the top. Unbelievable! I will never forget this.
As for the people I can tell that everybody was always very friendly and helpful. Some were shy first but after some minutes of talking they opened up and I had really interesting and inspiring conversations.
Drivers do respect most of the time and I never had any problem while I was pedaling. Even so when there was heavy traffic or on roads without shoulders.
The world is a wonderful place and so is Colombia, but also it is the perfect imperfection….Of course there also were things I didn´t like too much. First of all the food. In my opinion there was not a big variety of food when you are in the road and want to have a nice breakfast or lunch break. Compared with Asia (my favorite food) there are only poor posibilities. Also it is a little bit tricky to provide yourself with enough water. There are stretches where it is not possible to buy something to drink and in the tremendous heat you easily can dehydrate. So you always need to carry a lot of weight in form of liquids with you.
The espectacular nature and fantastic views make it all worth while, but I will not recommend this Country for unexperienced bike tourers.
Pure riding time sitting on the bike: 80hours
13 days of riding
Altitude difference: 12000meter
Minimum temperature: 10°C
Maximum temperature: 52°C
Steepest climb: 19%
Highest point: 2985m
Max. speed: 74km
Longest daily distance: 138,5km